Ice Storm Knocks Out Power to Hundreds of Thousands of Canadians

A catastrophic ice storm over the weekend – December 21 and 22 – knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of households and businesses in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (National PostCBC News).

RETA ice storm damage image 1About 400,000 households in Ontario were without power, 51,000 in Quebec, 42,000 in New Brunswick and 12,000 in Nova Scotia. At least one municipality, the Township of Woolwich near Waterloo, declared a state of emergency Sunday night because the power was expected to be out for 24 hours. In Toronto, about 300,000 households had no power during the peak of the storm. Ice-coated tree branches have snapped and brought down power lines. By Sunday, 500 power lines were on the ground in Toronto. Many households will not have any power by Christmas, and some will not have their power turned back on for a week.

This ice storm comes on the heels of a storm on November 27, 2013 that ripped through the Maritimes and left 38,000 households without power in Nova Scotia and thousands in New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland.

RETA ice storm damage image 2These winter storms, which are becoming more common in North America, are hazardous to people’s health and safety, and are costly in terms of damages and lost productivity. Power reconnection costs in Toronto alone for this most recent outage are estimated at $1 million a day.

The public, municipal governments, provincial and state governments are becoming concerned and have been asking their local electricity transmission and distribution providers why power lines aren’t being buried. Dangerous and costly power outages could be prevented if power lines were buried. Data show that constantly maintaining overhead power lines, due to storms and other inclement weather, bird collisions, aircraft collisions (airplane, helicopter, hot air balloons), vehicles and other equipment snagging lines and knocking down poles, and lightning strikes, costs more over the life of a line than burying the line.

When will electricity transmission and distribution companies join the 21st century and bury our power lines just like all of our other utilities?

For more information on power outages see this link.

~ by RETA on December 23, 2013.

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